Cooperative binding

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Cooperative binding is when the number of small molecules binding to a macromolecule depends on the concentration of those small molecules around the macromolecule.[1]

This is a type of molecular binding, which is where molecules attach to each other in a stable way without decaying or breaking that bond rapidly.

Example[change | change source]

A popular example of cooperative binding is between haemoglobin and oxygen.[2] In the lungs, there is a very high concentration of oxygen in the alveoli of the lungs. So the oxygen bonds to haemoglobin to form oxyhaemoglobin.[3] When this travels around the body in the blood and reaches areas of low oxygen concentration, the oxygen is released from the haemoglobin.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Heinz Decker & Kensal E van Holde 2011. Oxygen and the evolution of life Heidelberg; New York: Springer, p. 84
  2. Michael L Johnson; Jo M Holt; Gary K Ackers 2011. Biothermodynamics, Part D Amsterdam, Netherlands; Boston, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press, p. xiii
  3. Pamela C. Champe; Richard A. Harvey; Denise R. Ferrier 2005. Biochemistry Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 29
  4. Pauling L. 1935. The oxygen equilibrium of hemoglobin and its structural interpretation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 21 (4): 186–191. [1]

Other websites[change | change source]